When the Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees a week ago in game 5 of the ALDS it was Doug Fister who allowed just one run and five hits in five quality innings leading them to a 3-2 victory. Tuesday’s two run seven hit 7 1/3 inning performance in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Texas Rangers was clutch again. Texas opened the game with a run on three consecutive singles against Fister, but the second year pitcher then tossed six straight scoreless innings before walking off the field to a standing ovation in the eighth after giving up a leadoff double (Joaquin Benoit let the inherited run score).
Since being acquired from the Seattle Mariners at the July 31 MLB non-waiver Trade Deadline for four low level prospects, Fister has 70 strikeouts and just nine walks. Tuesday night he didn’t walk a batter for the eighth time in his 12 starts. Combining with Justin Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner to-be, and perhaps the 2011 AL MVP as well, the duo have been the most effective 1-2 combination in baseball since August. The previously unheralded 6-foot-8 lanky right-hander has been every bit an ace himself going 8-1 down the stretch with a 1.79 ERA in 11 starts with Detroit. Following up on his stellar second half performance , Fister produced a decisive Game 5 ALDS victory on the road against the Yankees, and now down two games to zero, a much needed Game 3 victory in the ALCS against Texas.
Fister was 12-30 in two-and-a-half seasons in Seattle, including 3-12 at the time of his trade this year, but that doesn’t tell the story of the quality of his pitching. In Seattle Fister had an AL-low 1.97 in run support and actually lost one game 1-0 when the lone run against him came after a runner mistakenly was awarded first base on a three-ball walk.
Fister is no fluke for sure and on the year quietly finished fourth in the AL with a 2.83 ERA in his 32 starts with the Mariners and Tigers. As mentioned previously, Fister could have been had for a box of donuts and payment of the remainder of his salary and it looks like Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski found water in the desert with this acquisition. With some support from the rest of the team and two or three more quality outings, trading for Dough Fister may prove to be one of the best MLB Trade Deadline deals of all time.
The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at TheXLog.com. You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.